The Wellness Ritual with Alyson Fox

Today marks the beginning of a new series for Medicine Kitchen called The Wellness Ritual. This series is about inspiring people who embody what it is to lead a healthy and conscious lifestyle. These are people who value taking care of themselves, others, and the world at large. I ask them questions about their personal healing journey and the rituals they use in their lives to stay balanced and inspired both mentally and physically. I hope you enjoy! 

Alyson Fox is a designer & artist residing outside Austin, TX. She is my friend and my fitness inspiration. She also happens to be an amazing cook and curious seeker of life-enhancing methods of all sorts. 


MK: So, I know you to be quite healthy in your habits, what is your most tried and trusted ritual for your overall health? 

AF: Honestly, snuggling with Stache (our dog). Hugging our pup close and focusing on his breathing and smelling him really helps to calm me down and makes me more present. Bringing him home from the shelter was the best gift we have given ourselves mentally. He’s so silly and easy. 

MK: When you are able to, what kind of special treatment or therapy do you use to revitalize yourself?

AF: I take a bath that I add mineral salts, baking soda, apple cider vinegar and some almond oil to. I smear a clay mask on my face and soak while reading a magazine. I also get a 10-20  min chair massage before my period.  

MK: Well, I took notes on that bath situation and will be trying that immediately! Do you have a spiritual ritual you practice? If so, what is that for you? 

AF: Laying outside on a blanket with my husband and listening to instrumental music. Stache is usually smushed between us. Also, taking my shoes off and feeling the earth beneath my feet helps me feel grounded.


Alyson jumping on her mini-trampoline. 5-7 minutes per day for cardio and lymphatic drainage.

MK: Was there a moment in your life or reason you became more devoted to self-care and healthy living? 

AF: I was always focused on pushing my body physically from a young age. All of that caught up to me in my early thirties. I went for a run one day and felt very depleted- I’m pretty sure I cried. I stopped 5 minutes in and walked home. I started to rethink what a strong body is. I always felt that you had to exhaust yourself, sweat and eat very specific things to be healthy. Now I have a much different approach. A gentler approach where I move my body often but with softer movements. I eat whole foods but I definitely indulge. I am kinder to myself overall and listen to my body more. 

MK: Take a quick picture of something healthy you ate this week: 


Alyson’s Coconut Milk Chia Seed Pudding made with lemon juice, date, and vanilla powder, topped with peanut butter and figs. :)

MK: What are your current favorite 2 superfoods or supplements and how do you use them? 

AF: 1. Dark chocolate- I eat several squares every- single- day!  Sometimes with cashew butter smeared on top and things like sea salt, cinnamon, black sesame seeds, fig……endless possibilities.      2. Ghee or grass fed butter. I add some to my tea with some almond milk and sometimes I smear on my lips. 


Thanks Aly! Healing hugs for the win :)  

All images (except Aly’s pudding) by Heather Gallagher Photography. :)

Teething Tea

My 7 month old son has been teething like crazy lately - poor guy is up crying several times each night, chomping at the bit and obviously in a great deal of discomfort. It goes without saying that we are also in great discomfort listening to him and going without sleep ourselves. Morning comes and he is his happy, joyful self again! I came across a recipe for Teething Tea that I’ve been trying the past couple weeks. I drink it myself as I’m breastfeeding him - but you can also give the tea directly to the child by bottle or dropper, and it may work faster that way, too. It tastes very yummy. I also make a pitcher of this tea for everyone at home that has a spoonful of raw honey added to it and my 3 year old calls it “Calming Tea” :) A great staple for toddler tea parties. Lemon Balm, Catnip, Chamomile & Lavender are all soothing herbs that calm irritability and relax the nervous system so it is calming in a true sense, and also good for cooling inflammation. 

Teething or “Calming” Tea:

2 Tbsp dried Lemon Balm

2 Tbsp dried Catnip leaves

2 Tbsp dried Chamomile flowers

2 Tbsp dried Lavender flowers

Place 1 tbsp of mixture into mug or glass jar with 1 C boiling water. Steep for 15-30 minutes (the longer it steeps the stronger it will be - also for very fussy babies try using 2 tbsp per cup). Have mom drink the tea (if nursing) or give to baby via bottle/spoon/dropper 1 oz at a time throughout the day. You can also soak a thin wash cloth in this tea, chill in the fridge, and give to baby to chew on - that’s a big hit! This tea is very safe to take over long periods of time. 

We also use Camilia homeopathic medicine and silicone baby spoons in our house for teething. What about you? Do you have a favorite remedy I’m missing out on?

Getting Sick? My Acute Self-Care Ritual

We all have supplements & vitamins we take on a daily basis for our individual needs… products we swear by and use daily for our health & beauty regimes, but what about when you are dealing with a sudden onset cold, or when you wake up with a golf ball-sized sore throat? At the VERY first signs I may be coming down with something acute - I start a very purposeful, emergency wellness ritual that I have refined over the years. There are so many useful tools for treating a cold or easing acute allergies or ear infections, so as Fräulein Maria would say - these are a few of my favorite things!

Hydrogen Peroxide / I trust using Hydrogen Peroxide almost 100% of the time when I notice an acute cold coming on. I gargle with it, and I also put a few drops down each ear for 5-10 min, then drain onto a towel. You can dilute it by 50%, but I just use it straight and rinse with water after gargling. This is just one of those measures I swear by. It will kill many bacterial microbes and pathogenic viruses that have entered the ear canal. H2O2 is always best to use right away when you notice symptoms in the first 12-24 hours. 

Elderberry, Echinacea, C, Zinc / You can take all these individually, but man that sounds like a lot of pills & I don’t do that very well. So I get these lozenges and have them in the house at all times. They are a powerful blend of healing agents - echinacea, zinc, elderberry & Vitamin C to help reduce the duration of disease and prevent illness from taking hold if you catch it early enough. 

Yin Qiao San herbs / Best Chinese herbs for warding off illness in the initial stages - I take it at the first signs of a sore throat, especially one that feels swollen, hot, raw, or burning. I take 3 capsules 3x/day. 

Raw Garlic Paste / aka my Warrior Wellness Paste. This stuff probably deserves its own post. I mix together 2 cloves of mashed raw garlic, 1 inch of raw grated ginger, 1 big Tbsp raw honey, & ½ tsp turmeric powder into a paste. I use 1 tsp of this paste in a mug of 1 C hot water (I actually put it inside a teaball and pour the water over it like making tea - that way it is pre-strained and you don’t have bits of garlic floating in your mug) and add the juice of ½ lemon to it. I drink this 2x day until the paste is gone. 

What are your self-care rituals? Would love to hear your tried & true remedies! 

Thieves Oil

Have you heard the story of the Four Thieves of Marseilles who successfully robbed people afflicted with the bubonic plague in the 14th Century? It’s rumored that their armor was a blend of herbs and oils diluted in white wine vinegar which they doused themselves with before going out & plundering the community… and they never became ill! A modern-day “Thieves Oil” exists today with numerous uses - household cleaning when diluted into a spray bottle, diffusing into the air for immune benefits, massaging on the feet with a carrier oil to help ward off colds and pathogens during flu season, or even using a few drops in a capsule to take orally for your immune system. If your family tends to get their fair share of colds and germs passed around each Winter, consider using a Thieves blend at home for wellness purposes - diffuse this blend for 30 minutes a few times each day in different rooms of the house to clean and purify the air while making your home smell divine. 

Thieves oil blend:

40 drops of Clove Essential Oil

35 drops of Lemon Essential Oil

20 drops of Cinnamon Essential Oil

15 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil

10 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil

Immune Boosting Turmeric Ginger Tea

From Amrita Sondhi’s book The Tastes of Ayurveda is a recipe for a hot tea that will bust a cold before it begins. Ginger warms the body and acts as an anti-inflammatory; turmeric is a natural anti-biotic food; lemon clears toxins, stimulates digestive function and purifies the body; while honey will naturally suppress a cough. Try this effective and yummy tea at the onset of very first symptoms of a cold or cough and you may be surprised at the results.

Immune-Boosting Tea:

8-10 slices fresh ginger, cut into rounds

8 C water

1 tsp ground turmeric

Juice of 1 lemon

2 Tbsp raw honey, or raw manuka honey

Boil ginger and water in a pot on high, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add turmeric and lemon juice and let cool slightly before pouring into pitcher through a fine mesh sieve. Add honey. Stir well and drink up to 3 C/day for healing benefits. 

Variation: Add a scant 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper to this tea for improved blood circulation - this tea can be drunk as a general anti-inflammatory tea for fertility patients who need improved circulation to reproductive organs - the antioxidants in cayenne & turmeric may help cardiovascular function and improve qualities of sperm and egg cells. Also great for any chronic inflammatory condition. 

Food Facts: 

Raw Honey (or Manuka honey): The benefits of raw honey, or especially raw manuka honey (from bees who feed off the manuka tree native to New Zealand) are plentiful. It has major anti-bacterial effects, anti-biotic effects, and tonic effects. Manuka honey has been proven to kill dangerous gut bacteria and will also soothe skin burns when applied topically. This is a honey to keep in your medicine cabinet - use it for burns, in hot teas for sore throats and colds/coughs, or use 1 tbsp in warm milk for a natural sleep aid. It’s pricey for honey, but super affordable for medicine. :) It will be the best tasting remedy in the house!